Evil Within Us Argumentive Essay - Eng 101 - Essay

1328 words - 6 pages

Hailey Gregg
Eng 101
Professor Russell
21 October 2018
The Influence of Evil Within Us
The human mind is said to be capable of great things, impeccable things. Things we didn’t even think possible. There’s a fine line between the good and evil we do, from the most compassionate gestures to the dirtist of deeds. We are capable to anything we put our minds to. So why does society choose such evil approach of life opposed to the good?
After researching several articles, such as Kate Douglas’s Homo Virtuous?, Robert Simon’s Serial Killers, Evil and Us, and also A case of split personality in puzzling Chicago murders. I have come to the conclusion that the way we are psychologically made up plays the biggest role in determining the good and/or evil we do.
Our brains are chemically wired to interpret things around us, most of which is for our own self benefit. Some of us being more selfish than others. Within the literature we have read, I have determined that personal gain plays a huge role in determining if we carry out with good or evil. For example, in A case of split personality in puzzling Chicago murders, it states “Apparently, he could only find sexual gratification through burglaries. He later found that killing during the burglaries added to the thrill.” (paragraph 5) In this article, he [William Heirens] discovered that robbing set off something inside of him that gave him the equivalence of sexual gratification. When you do something that makes you feel good then you want to keep doing it, such as working out or eating right. As he kept experimenting he found that murdering added to the thrill which had made it even more addicting.
I also found that executing good deeds and expecting something in return isn't just common in humans, but also in animals. While reviewing Kate Douglas’s Homo virtuous? I ran across the quote, “It [reciprocity] can explain the altruistic behaviour of vampire bats, for example: they starve to death after a couple of nights without a blood meal, so sharing with a roost-mate that is likely to return the favour is an obvious strategy to help them pull through tough periods.” (paragraph 9) Though this example is not as relevant as the others it still gives good insight on things we do for personal gain. Bats share things with others in order to gain what they need in rough times just as we do as humans.
As a species, it is near impossible for us to congratulate someone on something they have achieved yet so easy to destruct what they have accomplished. We only care about what we have achieved personally and feel it is essential to gloat in order to make others feel poorly about their accomplishments. When someone has something we don’t, we don’t try to work for it but rather degrade them. In Robert I. Simon’s article Serial Killers, Evil, and Us it states, “‘You have something that I want but do not have. I feel resentfully deficient and angry. I must destroy what you have (or you).’” (paragraph 14) which ties in greatly to what drives the human mind to conduct evil instead of good.
The amount of people spectating is also a factor that affects the evil we put on to others. John List observed in Douglas’s Homo Virtuous, “John List from the University of Chicago found that when the transactions were done under his watchful eye, dealers played fair, coming up with a card that was worth what the collector had offered. But when the dealers were not told they were taking part in an experiment, many ripped off their customers.” (Pg. 2 paragraph 6) This piece of evidence is giving off that if you are not known in a place and don’t know you are being watched that you feel that you can easily get away with things you may not normally do, such as ripping people off, and in extreme cases even killing. Our minds are embedded with twisted secrets, and evil desires that we wish for.
Being anonymous happens to be one of those many desires for William Heirens. In A case of split personality in puzzling Chicago murders, “However, they couldn’t track down Heirens’ apparent partner, George. Heirens was given sodium pentothal and interrogated. During questioning under the truth serum, Heirens claimed that George Murman had killed Suzanne Degnan. However, it quickly became evident that George wasn’t a real person at all, but an alter ego of Heirens himself.” (paragraph 4) People will do anything to cover up something terrible they have done, such as convincing themselves that they didn't do the crime to a point of an alter ego or even a multiple personality.
Humans are a walking contradiction. We are said to be good, but we establish this “good” in such evil ways and vice versa. In Simon’s Serial Killers, Evil, and Us it says, “But as Gacy himself once said, ‘A clown can get away with murder,’ and he did raping, sodomizing, torturing, and strangling to death thirty-three young men over the course of more than a decade.” (pg. 23 paragraph 2) Though Gacy was seen as an average community member, who gave back by performing as a clown for ill children, his story had a twist. Gacy wasn’t as average as he seemed, he had some villainous hobbies.
How we are wired within our mind determines our character which can play a huge role in whether you want to build our degrade people or objects. “Character, our core personality, is a dominant force in determining whether we behave constructively or destructively towards others.” (paragraph 17) When we have a destructive character it means that we have a destructive personality. We use the qualities that we possess to destroy people rather than to care for them. If we have a constructive personality then that means that we are using our traits to build people which shows the good within us. This idea leads to the quote, “But our character not only determines our destiny, it also has an impact upon the destiny of others. Hitler’s character destroyed the lives of millions. Mother Teresa’s character enriched and ennobled the lives of many.” (paragraph 17) If we retrace our steps to the previous quote, whether we are wired to be constructive or destructive can play a huge role on the destiny of others and ourselves. This can oftentimes be connected to what your ancestors character was like since genes are passed down. We are made up of how our family is, we receive the genes which are passed down from them which can be both good and evil. Most families tend to get along and those genes will be passed but if not, well you're in for a ride. A quote that backs up this is shown in Douglas’s Homo virtuous? “Individuals who helped their close relatives ended up passing on more genes, including those pushing us to help our own flesh and blood. So, like bees in a hive, we have evolved strong nepotistic instincts and, by this argument, niceness to non relatives is simply a case of overspill.” (paragraph 8)
In conclusion, good and evil is rooted within our minds. We are capable of everything, and anything. As a species our minds are embedded with demented desires and dreams. We go to the ends of the earth to show that there is good in our evil. Anonymity, personal gain, and our chemical makeup all contribute to our psychological ways of good and evil, even though ebil is more dominant in society today.
Works Cited
Douglas, Kate. “Homo Virtuous?” New Scientist, vol. 216, no. 2890, 10 Nov. 2012, pp. 42-45.
Science Reference Center. EBSCOhost.
Simon, Robert I. “Serial Killers, Evil, and Us” National Forum, vol. 80, no. 4, Fall 2000, pp. 23-28.
MasterFILE Premier. EBSCOhost.
“A Case of Split Personality in Puzzling Chicago Murders.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/a-case-of-split-personality-in-puzzling-chicago-murders.

More like Evil Within Us Argumentive Essay - Eng 101 - Essay

Macbeth Analysis How Ambition Drives The Evil Within Macbeth - British Literature - Essay

950 words - 4 pages ... Raper 2 Tristan Raper Ms. Puckett British Lit December 11th, 2018 Macbeth “Here’s the smell of blood still.” ( V, i, 51, p.403). When the name Macbeth comes to mind most people would think of murder, evil, and death, but Macbeth was not always evil. This essay will discuss the tragedy of Macbeth and how Macbeth’s overwhelming ambition drove him off the rails, so to speak. Macbeth’s descent into evil began when he learned of a prophecy that he ...

Eng 101 Reflection, Reflection Of Freshman - Usc - Essay

1132 words - 5 pages ... . I had a desire to keep writing, my passion had been sparked and I was eager to finish the story. This paper had given me the confidence that I needed to believe that I had the capability of writing a good essay. The in class writing assignments helped me to narrow down my topics until I decided for sure what I wanted to write on. The next paper built upon the first by allowing us to pick something that we were passionate about to write a ...

Culture Paper About American Dream - ENG 101 - Essay

1083 words - 5 pages ... . From the different perspectives of how America should be, they expected America to be the place where all their dreams came true and that they didn’t have to be faced with so many problems anymore. America is the place where everyone comes together, no matter what race you might be, you can always fit in anywhere and people will welcome you into their community. In David Brooks’s essay “People Like Us” he says “Instead, what I have seen all around ...

Narrative Essay On Swimming As A Fear Of Mine - Eng 101 NCC - Narrative

1038 words - 5 pages ... Michael Massa Professor Micciulla ENGL 101 07 June 2018 Narrative Essay Learning something new is always a bit frightening. Now overcoming something that is new and a personal phobia can be downright scary, hence the “phobia” part. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was learning to swim. I was always afraid of the water, not for any specific reason, except that it was an unknown for me. When I decided to join the Navy, swimming was ...

Disconnected From The Real World - Estrella Mountain Community College/eng 101 - Essay

1060 words - 5 pages ... Erica Krohn English 101 Professor Rodgers 7 March 2019 Compare / Contrast Mini Essay The videos entitled, “Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?” by Prince EA and “I Forgot My Phone,” by charstarleneTV both attempt to warn their intended audience about the dangers of technology. This is done by using various persuasive strategies which challenge the audience to limit the time they spend on their cell phones. Both videos are similar in the sense that ...

How Much Is Macbeth A Victim Of The Forces Of Evil And What Degree Does He Embrace Evil - English - Essay

727 words - 3 pages ... Essay: How much is Macbeth a victim of the forces of evil and what degree does he embrace evil? Introduction: Thesis: Evil is a destructive force, it causes harm to those who embrace it and their victims. In Shakespeare 's Macbeth, the protagonist Macbeth plummets into the hands of evil. Evil is what drives people to commit unnatural actions of destruction. These actions are caused by Macbeth’s overwhelming greed and ambition. The forces of evil ...

Students Shouldn’t Be Limited Within Textbook Only - Wilmington University - Essay

1061 words - 5 pages ... Student’s should not be limited within textbook only 1 Final Draft Refutation Essay Students shouldn’t be limited within textbook only Manish Khadka Wilmington University In this 21st century only the textbook information is not enough for students. The layout content of course books is with the end goal that it advances remembrance of actualities, instead of drawing in the readers ...

Jackson Democracy - AP Us History - Essay

923 words - 4 pages ... Free Speech Essay ​The freedom of speech, enshrined in the ​First Amendment​ ​to the Constitution, is a foundational American right. Nowhere is that right more important than on our college campuses, where the free flow of ideas and the clash of opposing views advance knowledge and promote human progress. It is on our college campuses, however, where some of the most severe violations of free speech occur and where students are regularly ...

This Essay Decribes The Evil Within The Symbols In The Novel The Lord Of The Flies - English 9 - Essay

904 words - 4 pages ... Evil Within Man Evil is an instinct every human is born with. We know that evil can be associated with sin and wrongdoing, but what does it take to be considered evil? In William Golding's novel The Lord of the Flies, Golding represents evil as the “Beast”. The “Beast” is said to be within each one of the boys, and is shown many times with Jack, and the other hunters. The Enlightenment thinker, Thomas Hobbes, had the same philosophy. He thought ...

Representation Comparison Essay - Englisj 101 - Essay

904 words - 4 pages ... Representation Comparison Essay Being an African American has never been an easy task. Thinking about the history of the African American heritage, people have endured slavery, discrimination, segregation, Jim Crow laws, and many other factors that have tried to diminish the value of African Americans as a whole. During the time period of of the 1930s African American ran into many troubles when it came to jobs and finances. The two films ...

"the Downside Effects Of The Internet" - CCAC - ENG-101 - Essay

1281 words - 6 pages ... Roush 1 Roush 2 Delilah Roush Mrs. Koryn-Noah Patrick ENG-101 January 28, 2019 Internet Effects on Society The modern-day Internet has absolutely had a large impact on our modern-day lives. Our society has significantly changed ever since the World Wide Web first launched on August 6, 1991. The access to many new discoveries and ability to obtain more information on any topic under the sun in just a simple Google search has increased convenience ...

The Struggle Between Good And Evil Within Strangers On A Train - 20th Century English At UNL - Essay

1297 words - 6 pages ... Lathrop Connor Lathrop English 205 Professor Rios 02 February 2018 The Struggle Between Good and Evil The Yin and Yang is the chinese philosophy describing how seemingly opposite forces may be interconnected or independent in the natural world. However this philosophy does not describe an individual's struggle to choose a one side over another. In the novel “Strangers on a Train” by Patricia Highsmith, the character of Guy faces many moral ...

Defense Of Language Within Modern Society - Southern New Hampshire University ENG 550 - Essay

596 words - 3 pages ... , which is essentially studying the phonetics and sounds within the language (Linguistic Glossary). One way of studying language that can be vital is morphology, which studies how words are formed and how they are related to other words in the same language. There are a couple linguistic elements – as they are called – that are somewhat easier to use to study and learn more about the language: lexicology and syntax. Lexicology is “the study of ...

Argumentive Essay On Police Brutality - English 112 - Essay

1368 words - 6 pages ... Boltin 2 Boltin 2 Faith Boltin Ruffin Reynolds ENG112-K6B 6-12-2018 Argument Essay Everyone feels devastated hearing news about someone’s death. People die every day some from natural causes like diseases, some die from being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and some die in the most unacceptable poor way. Which is by the hands of people who are believed to be the ones who catch the criminals, not the ones who commit the crimes and these ...

Evil Versus Good In "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" - LSU 102 - Essay

1003 words - 5 pages ... Henssler 2 Dane Henssler ENGL 102-007 Colvin 1 May 2019 Essay 2 Words: 934 Good Versus Evil At the first glance of Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the true good of the story is not readily evident. The book’s title hints to a general idea of the theme while only showing the surface of it. The theme of O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” embodies the struggle between good and evil. The Misfit represents evil while the ...